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What to look for in a medical power of attorney

On Behalf of | Oct 3, 2022 | Estate Planning

A medical power of attorney is a very important document to use. It gives someone else the ability to make medical decisions on your behalf. This way, even if you are incapacitated for some reason, you know that your best interests are still going to take precedence.

What the document does is that it gives an agent the ability to make these decisions for you. So who should you choose as your agent? What characteristics do you need to look for?

They need to understand the process

If the person is going to be very overwhelmed by the intellectual side of complicated medical procedures, then they may not be the right person for the job, even if they mean well. This can be confusing and difficult, and having someone with the proper understanding of the process is important. You need to know that they have the tools at their disposal to make the best possible decisions for you.

They need to be willing to make those decisions

Additionally, you want to talk to the person about their role and what would be expected of them. It can be very difficult for someone to agree to make life or death decisions for a loved one. You have to be sure that the person you choose as your agent is going to be willing to step in if they are needed.

They should be conveniently nearby

The individual you choose doesn’t necessarily have to be your neighbor, but they should be close enough that they can respond when needed and come make these decisions. For instance, many elderly individuals will choose an adult child who still lives in the same town or city. Remember that they may need to be able to regularly visit you at the medical center.

Creating your plan

Once you decide who is the best person for the job, then you need to know about all the legal steps to take to create your estate plan. Including a medical power of attorney can make it much more useful than it would be otherwise.